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What Does Spill Mean in Excel – Learn About the Excel Error

Microsoft Excel is a robust application used for calculation and data storage. You can use MS Excel as a part of Microsoft Office Suite or MS Office 365. Since Excel is a complex application with a vast array of functions, it’s also quite commonplace to get various errors while working on it.

So as an Excel user, you shouldn’t get worried after getting any error on Excel, especially if it’s the #SPILL! error. This blog will tell you what does Spill mean in Excel. At the same time, it’ll discuss the cause of this error and how you can get it fixed.

What Does Spill Mean in Excel - Learn About the Excel Error

What Does SPILL Mean in Excel?

Let’s start the discussion with a common scenario. Recently, you’ve switched to Microsoft Office 365 along with the latest Excel updates. Since then, all the common formulas you’ve been using for years aren’t working anymore. Instead, you keep getting the #SPILL! error no matter what you do.

To fix this issue, you need to understand what does this error mean. Usually, the #SPILL! error occurs when a formula generates multiple results that can’t be displayed on the sheet or when the Spill range isn’t empty. Now, go through the following discussion for a general understanding of #SPILL!.

Since Office 365 Excel app launched dynamic arrays, any formula populating multiple results automatically “spills” these into the neighboring cells. Remember that the formulas also include the ones that weren’t primarily designed to manage arrays.

A spill range refers to the cells that contain the results. And, when any element of the sheet prevents the range from getting filled, the user gets a #SPILL! error.

Causes and Solutions to #SPILL! Error

The above-mentioned behavior isn’t only understandable but somewhat predictable as well. For example, if you expect to get more than one value in return, but the nearby cells already contain other data, there won’t be enough space for the results.

In this case, you need to delete that data to get rid of this error. While situations like this are straightforward, some reasons can be confusing. These are:

  • One or multiple cells in the spilled area have an invisible space or non-printing character.
  • A spill range got blocked by the same formula the user copied across the entire column.
  • Users might have used a feature that doesn’t support dynamic arrays.

If you suspect that any of these issues are responsible for the #SPILL! error, you need to find out the exact cause by investigating thoroughly. Then, apply the appropriate solution to the problem.

  • Move the formula to another place or format the table.
  • In case of merged cells, unmerge or delete them.
  • Use cells or ranges as references inside the formula.


If you’re an Excel user, you might be familiar with various errors. One such error is #SPILL! If you confronted it or are curious to know what does spill mean in Excel, this blog is for you.

Here, we described the meaning of this error, its causes, and some possible solutions. With its help, you can easily fix the #SPILL! error and avoid getting it next time.

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